The VB Journal Profile

Sonya Z - Fashion & Spa

Meet Sonya Z, a self-taught fashion designer, entrepreneur, and sustainability advocate dedicated to empowering women through her fashion designs, sewing classes, and spa services.

Raised in a single-parent household, Sonya frequently sported hand-me-downs or secondhand clothes. After learning how to sew in her 7th grade home economics class, she started customizing her clothes so they’d look different from how they did on the previous wearer. Over the years, Sonya has remained steadfast in her individualism.
In 2001, due to the lack of options for plus-size women, Sonya founded Stretch Couture. Fashion meets imagination in the line created to celebrate women’s bodies with stylish clothing, featuring a range of designs from evening wear to exotic dancewear, and utilizing vibrant African print fabrics.
Sustainabili-T is a lifestyle brand focused on sustainable fashion and self-love. It was born out of her passion for remaking old items into something new and unique, and the feeling of creating something one-of-a-kind that she and her clients can feel good about wearing. For her Sustainabili-T pieces she upcycles t-shirts into bags, clothing, and pet toys. Additionally, Sonya uses recycled polyester material made from plastic bottles from a brand called Repreve. The recycled fabrics are a bit more expensive, but she believes it’s worth it. Sonya’s current challenge is securing the funding she needs to launch her sustainable manufactured line of clothing and accessories for plus-size women and pets.
Sonya Z


Stretch Couture is where fashion meets imagination

In addition to her fashion brands, Sonya runs a body contour spa that offers facials, foot detox, body wraps, and steam sauna services. They also offer body enhancements such as the Brazilian Butt Lift using vacuum therapy. The number one service they offer is stomach sculpting, where they achieve major fat loss results for clients using Ultrasound Cavitation to melt fat cells, paired with Laser Lipo. This uses Red Light Radio Frequency (low-level laser) technology to melt fat and tighten the skin by increasing collagen production, thereby reducing the appearance of cellulite.

Sonya loves to share information and offers free community meetups, and she coaches aspiring fashion designers on how to start and scale their fashion brand. After teaching one of her sewing students to sew in just 30 days for a fashion show in DC, Sonya watched as they went on to showcase their designs at a variety of prestigious events, including New York Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week, Miami Swim Week, Virginia Fashion Week, Harlem Fashion Week, and many others. He has been featured in major magazine publications and hosts a show on the FNL network. Another student who couldn’t even thread a bobbin when they started has since launched her own fashion line and is currently making her sister’s prom dress.

Sonya believes that it’s essential to pass these skills onto future generations. During the pandemic, when there were no masks, no shopping in stores, and no raw materials, Sonya used bed sheets and t-shirts to make face masks for health professionals, nursing home residents, family, friends, and clients. The pandemic showed her how valuable sewing is as a skill, and she believes it should be passed on, paired with additional education. This, in her mind, is one of the keys to entrepreneurship.

Sonya Z
Sonya Z
Sonya Z


Sonya manages to balance her multiple roles by effectively managing her time and energy, much like how one would manage their finances. She sets specific days for working at the spa and sewing, and has the backing of her business partner and employees at the spa. She may occasionally need to make adjustments, but she has a dependable team she can count on. She’ll be relying on them heavily soon, as she’s preparing for a two-week mission trip to Kenya, where she will impart sewing skills to girls rescued from child bride marriages.

In addition to her many other endeavors, Sonya is currently working on an exciting new project, the Sustainable Self Love Conference, alongside a professor at NSU. The conference will cover a wide range of topics including Environmental Advocacy, Self-Love, Sustainable Fashion Education, and a Sustainable Fashion Showcase, all with the aim of promoting a holistic approach to sustainable fashion and lifestyle that incorporates both emotional and mental health, and ultimately raising awareness and making a positive impact in this important field.

inform and educate in the sustainable fashion meets self-love arena


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